The pressure to stay awake: Student caffeine and drug abuse

Newsfeed Now

Newsfeed Now Videos

Newsfeed Now for February 20

Thumbnail for the video titled "Newsfeed Now for February 20"

Mobile police confirm officer in viral arrest video taken off the street

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mobile police confirm officer in viral arrest video taken off the street"

Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals"

Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Debate night brawl: Bloomberg, Sanders attacked by rivals"

Newsfeed Now for February 17, 2020- Kansas man offers $25K to help him find a long-term girlfriend, Ark. boy reunites with lost hat and teen buys video game for a kid

Thumbnail for the video titled "Newsfeed Now for February 17, 2020- Kansas man offers $25K to help him find a long-term girlfriend, Ark. boy reunites with lost hat and teen buys video game for a kid"

A hat traveling 700+ miles reunites with Fayetteville boy

Thumbnail for the video titled "A hat traveling 700+ miles reunites with Fayetteville boy"

Kansas man offering $25K to anyone who can help him find a long-term girlfriend

Thumbnail for the video titled "Kansas man offering $25K to anyone who can help him find a long-term girlfriend"

Man buys boy a game

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man buys boy a game"

Heart of a Tiger: Deceased Auburn student donates organs to Bama Fan

Thumbnail for the video titled "Heart of a Tiger: Deceased Auburn student donates organs to Bama Fan"
More Newsfeed Now

HUNTSVILLE, Al. (WZDX) – The value of an education has never been higher. GPA requirements for college admissions are rising, while schools are looking for students who are “well-rounded” and involved in just about everything. There’s more pressure than ever for students to succeed in school. But, do all these requirements leave any time for sleep?

Students often turn to alternative substances to have enough energy just to get through the day. From excessive caffeine intakes to turning to “study drugs” to stay awake, students are putting themselves at risk to achieve academic excellence. Both habits are dangerous and could be potentially life threatening for students. 

We met up with Dr. Kelli Stringer of Huntsville Hospital who shared some information with us on the importance of sleep for students and the dangers of developing addictions to substances used to stay awake.

Dr. Stringer says, “The use of those without a physician is generally completely not advised…Those substances will harm you, they will change the chemicals in your brain and the way your brain works.”

She advises that parents keep a close eye on their child’s sleeping habits. Consider asking them about school and help come up with ways that work for the whole family to decompress and relieve stress. Sometimes pressure to achieve at home can fuel these dependencies on caffeine and even drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin or other drugs without a prescription.  

She says, “As parents, just kind of keep a pulse on what your children are doing and if you see signs or symptoms that their behavior is becoming more erratic, or you’re finding things that may indicate that they’re using substances go straight to your health care provider.”

She also advises parents to not overlook a problem with caffeine in their children. Because we consume it daily, and caffeine is so commercialized, we often overlook the dangers of consuming too much. Don’t encourage your children to stay awake by pouring them a cup of coffee or handing them an energy drink. It’s also not a good idea to give it to them to help them get up for school. 

Dr. Stringer says,“I would say, before high school there really doesn’t need to be any caffeine involved. As they get older you can allow some. But, be very cautious about how much you allow your children to have.”

If you notice that your child may be abusing substances in order to stay awake, be sure to seek medical assistance immediately. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Right Now

Community Calendar

Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

Don't Miss

KETK Twitter & Facebook